FCC chairman to defend budget at hearing

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The funding includes money for broadband deployment, implementing an overhaul of the agency's Universal Service Fund, improving the agency's computer systems and investing in technical tools to examine interference issues.

A committee aide said lawmakers have a "duty to ensure independent agencies are using taxpayer dollars wisely."

Republicans on the committee have clashed with the FCC in recent weeks over the agency's authority to structure proposed auctions of broadcast spectrum licenses. Republicans have also criticized the FCC for its net-neutrality rules and its role in killing the AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

The full committee is expected to take up legislation that would overhaul how the FCC operates in the coming weeks. Republicans say the legislation would increase transparency and openness, but Democrats say it is a thinly veiled attempt to hamstring the agency.

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